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Updates on the I-96 shooter

A sketch of the man suspected of random shootings in a four-county area along I-96 in Michigan.

Update Thursday, November 1, 2:00 p.m.

A series of shootings on or near I-96 has Michigan motorists thinking twice about driving the interstate.

A police task force reports 24 confirmed shootings since October 16. Here is a summary of what we've learned since then:

  • 22 of the shootings occurred between October 16 and October 18. Two shootings occurred Saturday, October 27. Only three of the reported shootings have occurred on the interstate, the rest have taken place  on major roads and streets near the highway. MLive has compiled a map of the shootings.
  • Only one person has been injured since the shootings began. A West Michigan resident was shot in the buttocks as he was driving to Detroit for the World Series last Saturday.
  • A task force including state and local police, the FBI, and ATF has been assembled to handle the case. So far they've received over 2,000 tips thanks in part to a $102,000 reward for information on the shooter.
  • The most recent description of the suspect depicts a man in his 30s driving a dark-colored,  10 to 12 year old, four-door Oldsmobile Alero, Toyota Camry, or Chevrolet Cavalier.
  • Several of the incidents have involved the suspect shooting a pistol at vehicles while driving in the opposite direction.
  • Nine of the incidents have been linked by forensic evidence, and police have been pulling over vehicles that match the description of the suspect's.

Police are telling motorists not to be afraid of driving I-96 but to remain vigilant.
- Jordan Wyant, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Monday, October 29, 1:10 p.m.

Michigan State Police say gunfire did not take place along I-96 this morning.

A female motorist said shots hit her car, but police say perhaps it was a rock.

Monday, October 29, 12:00 p.m.

Brighton schools are no longer under lockdown. School officials lifted the precaution at 11:30 a.m.

Schools were locked down after reports of a shooting this morning. Police have yet to confirm the shooting.

Monday, October 29, 10:41 a.m.

Still no confirmation as to whether a shooting took place this morning. More from the Detroit Free Press:

MSP spokesman Lt. Michael Shaw said investigators are questioning the person who called 911 at about 9 a.m., indicating he or she had been shot. Shaw said he would not release any information about their questioning or the person that called, citing misinformation circulating through social media and the possibility of panic. “Right now, we don’t even know if there was a shooting,” he said at about 10:20 a.m.

Monday, October 29, 10:08 a.m.

From the AP:

Police say they've shut down part of a freeway as they investigate a possible shooting in the area where there's been a string of recent shootings in southeastern Michigan. State police tell The Associated Press they're at the scene near the intersection of U.S. 23 and Interstate 96 near Brighton following the report Monday morning. Police say they've not confirmed whether a shooting took place. There's no immediate word of any injuries.

We also have reports of school shutdowns in Brighton. Brighton Area Public Schools and St. Patrick School are on lockdown. Kids are being kept indoors.

Monday, October 29, 9:55 a.m.

The Detroit News just sent this tweet:

Michigan State Police are investigating a shooting of a vehicle on southbound U.S.-23 just north of I-96 near Brighton.

Saturday, October 27, 5:00 p.m.

Scott Arnold, 46, told the Detroit Free Press that someone fired into his car door as he was driving to the World Series in Detroit on Saturday. He said the bullet just missed one of his arteries and some major nerves. He was released from the hospital Sunday.

"It was pure luck. ... I feel very, very fortunate, and my kids do, too," said Arnold, who lives in Delton, near Kalamazoo. Doctors didn't remove the bullet, which he said struck him in the buttocks.

From the AP:

Authorities are linking the shooting of a motorist driving along Interstate 96 in Livingston County to a string of shootings across southeastern Michigan. Sheriff Bob Bezotte told WWJ-AM the man was taken to the hospital Saturday afternoon after being shot in the hip by a bullet that came through the driver's-side door. Bezotte says shots were fired at another car earlier but its two occupants weren't injured. Shots have been fired on at least 24 cars since Oct. 16. Most of the shootings involved cars near I-96. No injuries were reported before Saturday, the first incident since Oct. 18. WHMI-FM reports multiple police agencies are searching for the suspect. Based on reports, authorities said the gunman appears to be a man in his 30s.

Thursday, October 25, 1:10 p.m.

Bullet fragments or casings have linked at least seven of the 22 reported I-96 shootings, the AP reports.

Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard told the AP that a specific weapon cannot be identified, but investigators say evidence points to a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun.

The search for the shooter continues with seventy investigators from state and local police agencies.

Police believe the suspect to be a man in his 30s.

Monday, October 22, 2:56 p.m.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said there are now 22 confirmed incidents that have been reported. All of which occurred between Oct. 16 (at around 7pm) - Oct. 18 (at about 6:40pm).
No one has been injured to date.
Bouchard told Michigan Radio that most of the calls have been from people who hadn't heard about the shootings initially or didn't realize what caused the vehicle damage -- one man in Commerce Township called in a suspicious flat and the police found a spent round in his tire.
October 22, 11:36 a.m.

The random shootings have taken place in four counties along I-96:

  • Oakland County
  • Ingham County
  • Livingston County
  • Shiawasee County

The Wixom Co. Sheriff told Stateside Producer Alli Billings today that there have been 21 reported cases of shots fired in these counties.
No fatalities or injuries have been reported, The Detroit News reports all of the shooting took place last week:

All of the incidents took place between Oct. 16 and 18. So far the shootings were most heavily concentrated on Wixom roadways, where 10 were reported. Five were in Ingham County, two in Commerce Township, two in Shiawassee County and one in Livingston County, McCabe said.

The Michigan State Police released a sketch of a man suspected in the shootings. The witness to a shooting last Tuesday described the man's vehicle as dark 1998 Oldmobile Alero or a 1998 Toyota Camry.

Some schools are keeping kids inside today.

From the Detroit Free Press:

Recess will take place inside locked schools in Wixom today as police continue to search for a man randomly shooting at motorists and area residents... Walled Lake Consolidated Schools spokeswoman Judy Evola said today that five schools in Wixom are in "shelter in place" mode, meaning doors are locked, recess takes place inside and police are in the area. The measures will remain in place today at Western High School, Banks Middle School, Loon Lake Elementary, Wixom Elementary and Twin Sun Preschool, she said.

Today on Stateside, Cyndy Canty will talk with Ohio State University Professor of Psychology and Communication Brad Bushman.

They'll talk about how the media reacts to these events and about the risks associated with such events.

Tune in to Michigan Radio at 3 p.m. to hear their discussion. We'll also post the interview later today.

Mark Brush was the station's Digital Media Director. He succumbed to a year-long battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, in March 2018. He was 49 years old.
Stateside is produced daily by a dedicated group of producers and production assistants. Listen daily, on-air, at 3 and 8 p.m., or subscribe to the daily podcast wherever you like to listen.